His black derby hat hovers in the air as if he were still sitting on his couch, the elaborate light French print of candelabra etched on the silver velvet drapes behind him. His eyes, deep, penetrate his absence, the couch, still indented from his heavy frame. On the table his glass sits waiting to be filled with fresh ice and Jack Daniels. “Where did you go?” I ask him “You disappeared so suddenly. We all miss you terribly.” He smiles his slow, deep smile and puts his hands on mine. “Dear one,” he says, “Take heart. I am always with you whenever you think of me.” I look askance, “How can that be?” But soon I realize what he means. Deep inside he is there with me when I sleep or when I put on my hat and go wandering out on my daily walks looking up at those bare leaved elm trees, their huge branches beckoning, strong and filigreed. He speaks to me of birch, willow and oak, of diamond sparkled waters and deep springs. I see his large form move from oceans and lakes, streams and forests his hat still hovering. “Put it on,” he says. I look and wonder: “Should I?” I imagine him gone in a puff of etheric smoke, winking at me, his hat spinning up into the center of the Universe while roots hang down, filling the air with arabesque patterns, his sweet resonant voice echoing off of the curved bell of his hat: “We are free,” he says, “free to be who we want to be, free to say anything!” and my heart goes out since I know he’s right. I take the gift of roots and the hovering hat realizing I can access him, realizing I can access myself anywhere, anytime in this difficult yet beautiful planet in a teeming universe full of trees, light and water, whether corporeal or not.